As our Phase 2 draws to a close, plans for various extensions are on the drawing board. Since ourlast newsletter, LEI has submitted a plan to AusAID for a small restructure of the technical assistance team. This will see all our national adviser positions extended up to the official end of AusAID’s Phase 2, in November 2008. It will also permit some additional international cadastral inputs, to help the TA team to finalise its capacity-building program.
For the last two and a half years I have been based in Leyte with the LAMP2 operations as the International Adviser for Systematic Adjudication. Over these years there has been some tremendous achievements made.
Philippines-Australia Land Administration and Management Project –Phase II. A Model in Land Transaction Services and Records Management. On the 11 March 2008, AusAID representatives were accompanied by the Team Leader Ian Lloyd to the LAMP II project site in Leyte province. This visit provided the donors with a lasting impression on the commendable achievements of the project in the management and operations of the One-Stop Shop as well as in the field titling operations involving community mobilization, systematic adjudication and land surveys.
LEI recently signed a contract extension for the World Bank funded Land Administration and Survey Project in Samoa, part of the WB's broader Second Infrastructure Asset Management Project (SIAMII). The primary contract was completed in 2006, however supplementary credit has been provided to enable completion of the vertical component of the geodetic network as well as additional assistance in land registration system and land information systems integration.
The Project is now in its fifth year of Phase 2 and there are encouraging signs that the host organisation, the National Land Management Authority, is committed to continuing the project into the next decade. Initially they will seek an extension of Phase 2 and then a third phase! This is good news for our technical assistance team, as we are in the last eight months of our inputs. Although the Bank-funded project continues until 30 June 2009, LEI’s contract with AusAID finishes in November 2008.
In previous newsletters we have reported on the major expansion program the TA team is supporting here. It is only ten months before the end of TA inputs for Phase 2 and yet the project is increasing in size - we have just added five provinces, taking us to 14 provinces where systematic adjudication is supported. And of course the Department of Lands must also build capacity within five additional provincial land offices to support the flow of subsequent registrations that are expected ter the public education program. But that is not all … we are currently in the middle of the World Bank, AusAID and GTZ assessment of the project, where we expect the go-ahead to be given to the expansion into the remaining three provinces, commencing in a few months!
The LAMP Phase 2 Project finished the year on a high note with the reaching of the year two target for issuance of land titles, and the continued increase in formal land transactions processed through the Leyte Province One Stop Shop (OSS). In addition, the mass data capture of all land titles in the province Register of Deeds (1/4 million titles) is underway and complements the parallel data capture of all approved survey plans which was commenced earlier.
The Governance in Land Administration Project is in full swing. After an initial presentation of the fundamental concept during the World Bank Land Thematic Group Mini-Retreat, Tony spent a very busy week meeting with Bank staff discussing their ideas and experiences on land administration projects. Not being a typical LEI project, these face to face encounters provided a crucial stage in developing an understanding of the project needs and significantly expanding our coverage of land administration issues in a global context.
In a country where there are 29 agencies) involved in property valuation (and as many valuation systems used), the establishment of the Property Valuation Staff (PVS) is a landmark initiative towards a single and unified valuation system and authority. The PVS, which is currently housed at the Bureau of Local Government Finance (BLGF), was established on 30 August 2007 by Secretary Margarito Teves of the Department of Finance (DOF) through Department Order 34-07.
The Project is going through a very busy period (has it ever been otherwise?), with training for new staff in the existing 9 Project provinces (following major staff losses since the move of the Department of Lands from the Ministry of Finance to the National Land Management Authority in 2006) nearing completion, and training for new systematic adjudication teams starting in Bokeo, Oudomsay and Luang Namtha this week. Following training, systematic adjudication will commence in these provinces in the new year. The next two provinces (Attapeu and Xekong) will receive training later this year, and the final three provinces will come on board in February 2008.
From Public Relations To Social Mobilization: Tweaking LAMP II IEC To Fit Philippine Social Realities
Many long hours went into the production of the Technical Assistance Annual Plan for 2007-2008. The initial plan had to be revised to reflect the reduced level of TA funding from AusAID in the current financial year. The revised Plan was approved in August and recruitment of international and national TAs to assist the GOP with the agreed program activities is now in full swing. Organisational assessments were completed for the Land Management Bureau (LMB) and the Bureau of Local Government Finance (BLGF) and both organisations have agreed to participate in a Change Management Program.
Chris Lunnay has been involved in supporting the Government of Papua New Guinea with the development of a Concept Design Document for their National Land Development Program (NLDP). Chris undertook an initial visit to Port Moresby in early July to assess the GoPNG requirements.